MOROCCAN LAMB FLATBREAD PIZZA


If someone had told me almost a year ago when we started making our own tortillas that they could be easily adapted into pizza bases, I'm sure I would be the size of a house by now! Thanks to the fact that this recipe calls for harissa paste instead of tomato sauce for a punchy Moroccan kick and the bases take mere minutes to knock up, you can have this pizza ready in about half an hour - much quicker (and healthier) than a takeaway!

Topped with sweet, crispy lamb, hot pickled peppers and melted feta, these bad boys are now firmly part of our weekly rotation.


Makes two 8-inch personal pizzas

For the flatbreads
200g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
150ml warm water
1 ½tbsp olive oil

For the toppings
200g Scotch lamb mince
½ green pepper, finely diced
½ small onion, finely diced
1tsp ras el hanout
1tsp cinnamon
½tsp paprika
½tsp garlic granules
1tbsp honey
1tbsp olive oil
2tbsp harissa paste
75g feta cheese
75g grated mozzarella or cheddar 
3 pickled chilli peppers
1 tomato, roughly chopped

To make the flatbreads, combine all of the ingredients together. Gently mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Cut the dough in half and roll out into 8-inch rounds, about the same thickness as a pitta bread. In a hot, non-stick pan, cook on each side for a minute, or until bubbles start to appear. Set aside.



In the same pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil along with the ras el hanout, cinnamon, paprika and garlic granules. Once the spices start to release their aroma, add the onion and Scotch lamb mince to the frying pan and brown, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the green onion and fry for a few minutes, until the lamb mince is cooked through. Carefully, using the spoon or a pan lid, drain away any oil in the pan. Return to the heat and add the honey; it should sizzle and the lamb will start to go lovely and crispy. 



Heat up the grill. Meanwhile, wipe the pan clean and place one of the flatbreads in it. Put a tablespoon of harissa paste in the centre and spread outwards using the back of the spoon until most of the base is covered. Just a thin layer will do; the paste is fairly strong and can be quite spicy! Top with half of the lamb mixture, crumbled feta, tomato, grated cheese and sliced pickled peppers. Pop under the grill for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to bubble. Repeat with the second flatbread, slice and enjoy!




IN LOVE WITH A RUG

Our home is - and most likely always will be - a bit of a work in progress. After having to get rid of our old rug (RIP Flokati), I've been deliberating about a new living room rug for only about 3 years! After noticing our carpet was starting to get a bit tired, I knew I had to hurry up and choose something. I wanted something fairly neutral, but with a bit of texture to lift the rest of our slightly flat IKEA decor, but I also didn't want to spend too much money at this point: enter French Connection Home


If it's possible, I think I've fallen in love with a rug. I started looking at jute rugs as they're super inexpensive and versatile. The rugs can look a bit yellow, though, so this one (in the sale!), which is woven through with beautiful strands of soft grey leather, perfectly balances the equation. I'm thinking of getting a shaggy sheepskin rug to layer over it - I was thinking grey, but then I found this one, which is the same colour as our rabbit Scampi!

Other updates in the living room include Darren's carpentry sign - I made it for his birthday last year but he kept forgetting to take it out on jobs with him, and I sort of love how it looks here now! - and a bunch of new cushions; this Habitat one is a particular favourite.




SWEET POTATO MEE GORENG

Move over courgetti! There's a new vegetable noodle in town. It turns out that my trusty little spiralizer can turn its hand to pretty much anything in the fruit and veg aisle. In this case, sweet potato takes the place of noodles to make this tasty take on mee goreng.


We had mee goreng every day for breakfast in Indonesia and I've really been craving it lately. Thanks to the sweet potato noodles - swoodles? - this makes for a light and healthy breakfast, providing you can stomach slightly sweet and spicy things for breakfast!

Last year my local Tesco introduced a large Tesco Ingredients section and I've found it invaluable; there are plenty of hard-to-find ingredients for South East Asian, Mexican, Korean meals and more and while they aren't always 100% authentic, they are really well priced and everything I've tried so far has been tasty and a real timesaver!

To make one portion
Half a sweet potato
A few tablespoons for frozen sweetcorn
1tbsp Tesco Ingredients nasi goreng paste
1tsp butter
1 free-range egg
Spring onion, coriander and sliced chilli to garnish



Heat a non-stick pan and dry fry the nasi goreng paste. Meanwhile, spiralize the sweet potato. If you don't have a spiralizer, you could make the rice version this pasted is named after - nasi goreng - by grating it instead. Stir fry the sweet potato noodles and sweetcorn in the pan, making sure everything is coated with the nasi goreng paste.

After a few minutes, push the sweet potato to the side, put the butter in the empty side of the pan and fry the egg. Add a splash of soy sauce to the top of the egg for an extra dose of salty savoury tastiness! Transfer the swoodles to a plate, top with the egg and garnish.

Cooking the sweet potato in this way makes for a fresh and crunchy texture; if you'd like the noodles to be softer, blanche in boiling water before adding to the pan.



And voila! This recipe really couldn't be simpler and is definitely going to be my go-to when I'm craving a big nest of noodles. I ended up making three recipes for the blog on the day I made this, so I have to say I'm grateful to have found another carb substitute for when I could do with cutting back.

WEDDING PLANNING ON A WHIM

I wouldn't say we planned our wedding on a whim (though it makes for a nice title), but we've had a very fuss-free approach to it all! Now the registry office and reception venue have been booked, I'm feeling quite chilled; for me, everything else is just a bonus. I've had an Ideas & Inspo Pinterest board going for a few years now. It's not a wedding board at all - though there are some snippets in there - but looking at it now I feel like I know the general direction we're going in, so I thought I'd pull some inspiration from there for the end of a rather grey and rainy week!









{all images from my Ideas & Inspo board}

I'm excited to get back in the kitchen this weekend and get some recipes ready for next week. Creativity breeds creativity; I've got a long list of recipes to try and I know once I get back into the swing of things this place is going to brighten up quite a lot!

A JANUARY UPDATE


Hello! I had a spare 10 minutes and just felt the need to blog; it's been a little while and I just wanted to drop in with a little life update.

JANUARY RESOLUTIONS // I never really have that feeling that some people get of feeling excited and productive on January 1st. In reality, I just feel sluggish after Christmas and in a weird what day even is it!? fug. Who needs the pressure of a new year's resolution when Christmas is hardly even over? Not me. I like to take care of myself and give myself a little leeway at the start of the year. That said, my two niggles for January were to stop cancelling plans at the last minute - which actually means making fewer plans so I don't exhaust myself by Wednesday night - and complain less about other people. I've found myself becoming increasingly irritated by little things that people do and that is not a nice way to be, so I roped in my work buddy to keep me in check and I think I’m on track!

WEDDING // Darren and I have always wanted a low key wedding; as long as there’s food and booze and our family and friends, nothing else really matters. We knew we wanted our reception to be in a pub, preferably in London, so we scheduled a wedding planning pub crawl last Saturday and ended up going with the first place we saw! Then we booked the local Town Hall blind and that’s that. I’m sure I’ll post things here and there over the next few months, but I have zero interest in trawling Pinterest or buying bridal magazines at the minute. It turns out that the girl who loves to plan isn’t actually too fussed! The venue is pretty enough by itself, so there’s not much to do d├ęcor wise, and they are SO flexible, we can have any food we want (Mexican/pizza/barbeque party anyone?), so there’s not really much to do at all except find the dress!

BLOG // I was expecting to spend January worrying about finding a wedding venue, but now that that’s done I have more time to spend on this little space. I’ve got a long list of posts to write when I have a spare weekend (this weekend!), but recipes have taken a back seat as we have a couple friends staying with us, so taking over the kitchen isn’t an option and their room has the best light for taking photos! I had all intentions of switching things up, a new schedule for posting and all that jazz, but I think I’m just going to keep on keepin’ on. I’m happy with what I’m doing and already had a few people reach out to me in the new year, so I feel excited for Sprunting! in 2016. I’m thinking – less worrying about getting three posts out a week and putting more effort into perfecting and promoting the content I’m really happy with, whether that’s five posts a week or one post a month!

TRAVEL // We had every intention of spending time at home this year, saving money and getting a dog! But now we’re getting married in September, we want to visit my family in Malaysia afterwards and it looks like I might be able to get a whole month off work! We’re thinking Thailand or Vietnam for a honeymoon; any thoughts? I’ve been following Ala’s amazing travelling adventures and thinking we should just stalk her route for a few weeks!


How have you started 2016? Do you have any resolutions or did you make a resolution not to make a resolution ;) I want to hear everyone’s news! 

HEALTHY RECIPES TO START 2016



Ugh. I know. I'm that person. I don't think January has to be all about dieting, clean eating hashtags and Veganuary (though I did Vegan Before 6 last year and loved it!), but it's definitely important for me to hit refresh on my food habits at the start of every year. To me, Christmas is all about friends and family and for me that means enjoying food together; it wouldn't be such a minefield if it was just a week out of the month, but of course the whole of December was spent going out for drinks and mince pies in the office, looking forward to Christmas dinner. And once those things start to add up, everything else goes out the window and you're sat on the sofa eating chocolate, lebkuchen and leftover sausages for breakfast (don't judge).

I just spent a really nice half hour going through my blog posts from the past year and this little round up proves that healthy food is definitely not boring; these might be some of my most colourful recipes, so if you're looking for a little #fitspo (ugh), then this post is for you!



1. Picnic food that's perfect for a quick lunch, or even to take to work for breakfast al desko.
2. A super-hydrating fresh Virgin Mary for weekend reviving.
3. Yoghurt-marinated kebabs for when you're craving a takeaway.
4. Cosy, comforting homemade sausage and beans for when you need carbs.
5. Quick and easy green curry when you need to flush out a cold.
6. A chicken serving suggestion when you realise you haven't had a roast since Christmas.
7. Fresh summer rolls for when you just can't be bothered.
8. A food philosophy for when you can't remember why you stopped eating McDonalds. 
9. A Vietnamese dinner party showstopper because healthy doesn't mean boring.



10. Deliciously Ella's lentil bolognese for when winter finally gets here.
11. A cucumber and elderflower cooler if you've given up boozing.
12. Courgetti, because it's actually good when you have the right tool.
13. A frittata addition to jazz up your eggs.
14. Simple Japanese goodness to make you dream of travel.
15. Breakfast burritos with homemade tortillas - you'll never go back.
16. Garnishes that make a vegetable dish sing for when you're stuck for ideas.
17. Nigel Slater's aubergines and chickpeas, because aubergines are my OTL. 
18. Ratatouille for when you're dreaming of summer.

But of course, sometimes only cake will do. Everything in moderation and all that ;)

HELLO 2016!


Happy new year! I say it every year, but the new year really snuck up on me this time. The last few weeks of December were a whirlwind; Darren and I got engaged (!!), work was hectic and I enjoyed an amazing family Christmas with my parents, then it was back to work and all of a sudden it was New Year's Eve! I don't really go in for all the celebrations and ended up going to sleep at 12:01 after one too many proseccos.

I know you're going to see a million of these reflective posts today, so I'll save on all the gratitude and intentions, but 2015 was such a great year. I feel like I got really into the swing of things with my blog, I did some amazing travel, we made a big life decision and I was on TV**. I did one of those #2015bestnine posts on my instagram and I'm happy to see such a nice mix of food, travel and personal photos in there. 

2016 is going to be amazing! I have two school friends getting married (one of whom I'm a bridesmaid for), my beaut housemate from uni is having an Indian wedding (I get to wear a sari!), my brother is getting married - this is starting to get ridiculous - and then I'm getting married! In between all that, we're hoping to finally get a dog, I'm planning a weekend in New York with my mum and despite Darren and I deciding not to go on holiday this year to save money, we'll be heading to Malaysia to celebrate our marriage with family and have a honeymoon on the beach. (This would be the perfect moment for a YOLO, but I would legit get dumped if I did it. Boo.)

In true blogger new year reflection style, I've also been thinking about my blog. I love this space, I love creating recipes and looking back over my posts from the year, it's amazing to see the improvement since 2014. Saying that, I put a lot of work into Sprunting! in 2015...the pressure I put on myself to push out perfect content got in the way of the fact that it's supposed to be fun and it's not my job, it's not my livelihood, so I can chill TFO! I spent a weekend at the end of November putting together all my December content and it felt so good to have every single weekend in December free to just enjoy hanging out and making plans that didn't revolve around when I could be home to get the best light to photograph my cake! In light of that, I only want to create posts I love and I'm proud to share (grainy photos, I'm lookin' at you!) so I'm thinking of dropping a certain number of posts on the same day at the beginning of the month, like a magazine; I feel like that requires a new layout though, so watch this space!

Thank you for reading Sprunting! in 2015 and I hope you'll stick around to see what I eat, where I go and what I see in 2016. 

p.s. here are links to some of the posts featured in the montage above: ramen in Tokyo, almond, polenta and rum plum cake, sausages + beans, (vegan) Cointreau coconut ice, flower arranging with the Flower Appreciation Society, making peace with courgetti, Humble Pie!

p.p.s. anything you'd like to see on the blog??

**The TV company sent me a DVD of the show and while it would be awesome for you all to see it, a few screenshots may have to suffice. There were some pretty lol moments!
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